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Last Exit May 23, 2011

Posted by Rusty in 25-29, last exit.
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I joked on our Facebook page (like us!) that the three contributors on this site finally hit a wall. After switching over to WordPress and making a real effort to put up at least one review per week last January, we finally started feeling the burnout. We haven’t posted in three weeks.

Well thank goodness for Last Exit because my faith in Lifetime has been restored.  This won’t get the highest score because I didn’t see one familiar face in the cast, but what a delightful way to kill two hours. This is one of my favorites. Buckle up, this post will be long.

The Best

The movie opens with ominous title cards that appear to have been written by a third grader. It starts off with something about more and more people driving cars. Then:

Millions of tons of metal, glass and flesh moving at dangerously high speeds.

So we are diving headfirst into the shallow end of the pool of crazy. AND NO OXFORD COMMA!? GOD DAMN YOU, LIFETIME.

Every day we are under more pressure to get where we are going With less time to get there.

Are we? Is that a fact? Why did you capitalize that “w”?

Eventually, something has to give.

Does it? Maybe if everyone follows the law then nothing will have to give AND people will get to places on time?

The film gets going with a suspiciously expensive looking car accident between a gray SUV and a red coupe. The SUV does a lot of flipping! The woman in the red coupe calls 911 and says the accident was her fault. Two (and only two!) highway cops show up and both drivers are near death.

The two women are Beth and Diana. Beth is presented as the good one. She’s poor and trying to raise a 10-yr-old with spina bifida all on her lonesome. Her son is obsessed with space so naturally Beth tells him the best part of having a telescope is being able to spy on the neighbors. Seriously.

Diana, the bad lady, is a wealthy suburbanite with a creepy unemployed husband who collects guns. She is work obsessed and doesn’t even notice when her teenage daughter gets her first period and gets blood and unused egg all over the place. (Not explicitly mentioned but implied. I may have taken a few liberties with the viscera.) She is very, very wealthy.

After both moms drop their sons off at school, they head off to work. They’re running late. Diana cuts off Beth at their ramp and Beth swerves out of the way. Diana gets to work on time. Beth is stuck in traffic.

The movie spends the next 100 minutes totally shitting on these ladies. I will split them up to make this easier on everyone.

Beth ends up at her paralegal gig 45 minutes late. She would have been late without her traffic woes but now she is up Shit Creek. While she was absent a courier tried dropping off a very important document and with no one there to sign for it, her firm doesn’t have a copy. This is a big deal. Beth needs to pick it up by 2pm. And her car won’t start.

Beth goes to the courier office where she cuts in front of five or six people and demands that she get helped immediately. That doesn’t work. Back of the line for her! When she finally talks to the lady at the counter, they discover that the courier is still out on his run. Beth finds him in a park. She chases him for what looks like two miles through fountains and bushes and all sorts of madness. She finally catches up to the courier and gets the package. When she gets back to her car she is getting ticketed for leaving her car running (so it won’t stall) and double parking. And she locked her keys in the car.

Beth sucks.

Beth immediately tries getting out of a ticket by mentioning her son’s disability. Some ladies cry. Others show some cleav. Beth uses her son’s spine being broken. Nice. The cop helps her jimmy into the car but she still gets a ticket.

Beth gets back to work at 2:05pm and she is fired. She deserves it. She is getting two weeks severance which seems more than generous.

As is tradition, after getting fired it’s time to go shopping for birthday presents. She wants to buy her handicapped son a new fancy telescope. She can’t. Insufficient funds. Jesus Christ, lady, you wait until the very last second to buy your only child a gift and you don’t bother checking on how much money is in your account? Ugh. Anyways, she pawns her favorite necklace to get the money for the telescope.

At her son’s birthday dinner, Beth gets psycho infuriated at her baby daddy for buying him a tent. He has a backyard and she doesn’t so apparently this is a huge breach of parenting etiquette. Wait. Beth expected her son to drag a giant ass telescope from his room to the car to his dad’s? Isn’t a telescope kind of a one house thing?

Beth is super pissed and is driving like a maniac. She almost hits a truck and in the act of braking her son somehow cuts his chin open. I don’t know. He needs stitches though.

At this point the baby daddy takes the kid for the weekend and Beth is a broken woman. Her car breaks down in the middle of the street and a woman in an SUV is honking at her. It’s Diana!

So, back to that morning. Diana cuts off Beth and gets to work on time. She is preparing for a big presentation to retain a client while also managing a car commercial being filmed in some Canadian park. She is a busy bee.

Diana needs to leave work early when her son’s prep academy calls her and tell her it’s an emergency. Apparently her son took one of his dad’s guns and brought it to school. With a loaded clip. Yikes. Because they are rich and white no one calls the police and they brush it off with a suspension.

All of this makes Diana late for her presentation rehearsal and when she finally makes it back to work she starts throwing up everywhere. Why? Because she is secretly pregnant! No one knows!

"Beth sucks."

We get the sense that Diana is incredibly competent and that she kind of resents her family for getting in the way of her professional advancement. This is usually code for BAD GUY in a Lifetime movie, but I find it impossible not to sympathize with Diana more than the easily flustered Beth. This movie is almost Calvinist. If you work hard and are good at your job, you get the monies and the husbands and the right to cut people off at the ramp. If you are poor, you probably deserve it. Beth deserves it.

Diana’s big presentation doesn’t turn into the vomitorium I was hoping for. It gets postponed until 6 at the big potential client’s hotel. Instead of going straight to the hotel, Diana stops at that commercial shoot and parks squarely in a tow away zone. After the cab to the impound lot and more traffic, she can’t make the 6pm start time. Epic fail.

Her husband is waiting for her back at the office and even though he has been presented as kind of a monster, now he is the sweetest guy in the world. He buys her flowers and takes her out to eat. Diana catches a break when she hears that all flights have been grounded due to a storm. Meaning that potential client is stuck at the airport! Godspeed, Business Lady!

Diana rushes to the airport and starts honking at a broken down car taking up a lane. Hi, Beth! Beth and Diana yell at each other and the latter speeds off. When Beth recognizes the car that cut her off that morning, she goes ballistic. She takes her son’s telescope and starts wailing on Diana’s car. Diana speeds off and clips Beth which seems fair.

When Diana looks in her rearview she sees Beth speeding at her. Diana speeds up to escape but it’s no use. Beth clips Diana and we have that spectacular crash.

HERE IS WHERE SHIT GETS REAL!

Beth realizes that attempted murder is not good and immediately calls 911 and admits fault for the accident. She crawls over to Diana’s overturned SUV to help get Diana out of the car. Diana shoots her dead.

Yup.

The two (and only two!) highway patrol people arrive at the scene and get them to a hospital. A nurse lets slip that Diana is pregnant. Beth is deceased and her son is sad.

We cut to a few months in the future and Diana is having an ultrasound. The baby is ok! Good! The husband finally got a job and the kids aren’t acting like assholes. Everything is perfect.

But when Diana gets off the ultrasound table it is revealed that she lost her leg in the accident and is wheelchair bound. She is being tried for murder and is claiming self-defense.

Meanwhile, Beth’s son uses his telescope to spy on the neighbors because that’s what his dead mom told him to do.

AWESOMENESS: 20

The last ten minutes of this movie were the best ten minutes of Lifetime ever. I had such a dopey grin on my face. Two horrible characters that we’re supposed to sympathize with start murdering each other. Yes!

HEY! IT’S THAT GUY!: 2

Ugh. This pains me. Beth was played by a 90210 alumnus but she isn’t Shannon Doherty or Tori Spelling so I don’t care. Diana’s husband played Johnny Cage in the surprisingly awesome Mortal Kombat movie. He punched Goro in the balls. It was great.

LIFETIMENESS: 7

This is tricky. On one hand, this movie went about a million places I didn’t expect on the Lifetime Movie Network. A good Lifetime score should be tricky. Thankfully the movie still managed to meet my expectations of the Lifetime genre.

First, this movie is insanely Canadian. They keep using the metric system and their money looks weird. I actually had to convert their car speeds from km/h to mph on the Internet.

(The movie is supposed to take place during an early-June heatwave. What part of Canada is this? Canada doesn’t have summer. And it pissed me off when they kept saying it was 100 degrees. First it’s metric, now you’re using Farenheit? Boooo.)

This movie also follows the Lifetime pattern of female heroes who are actually terrible and bad guy men who aren’t that bad. Beth and Diana are bad, terrible, no-good people. They deserve each other. Diana’s husband is pegged as a villain because he buys guns (fair?) and he goes golfing when he is unemployed. The film explicitly mentions he was golfing with a CEO of a company he was applying for but, still, villainous move. Beth’s baby daddy is demonized for buying his son a tent and for getting promoted to a vice principal position an hour away making it harder to share custody. And he has a new girlfriend. What an asshole.

Still though, the two “good” female characters fought to the death. That is unusual.

GRAND TOTAL: 29

This movie is better than the score. Not optional for Lifetime Movie Network aficionados.

Comments»

1. london - May 23, 2011

This sounds like the most amazing lifetime movie ever put on film
Seriously I am dvring this next time it is on. I hope its soon

2. lisaann - May 23, 2011

This sentence is brilliant: She is work obsessed and doesn’t even notice when her teenage daughter gets her first period and gets blood and unused egg all over the place.

I bow to you.

3. hrh king friday xiii, ret. - May 25, 2011

This is a primo Lifetime review! I totally want to see this movie now, no joke. I also think I’d like Last Exit because I can relate to Lifetime’s message about telescopes and how they endure adveristy in the face of SUV windshields.


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